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North Carolina's first independent station, WCTU, was signed on July 9, 1967.
In 1971, Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting System purchased WCTU and renamed it WRET which stood for his full name: Robert Edward Turner. NBC switched to WRET in 1978 when former affiliate WSOC-TV joined ABC. Turner had committed into investing $2.5 million for station improvements.
In 1980, Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired WRET for $20 million — then the largest station sale at that time — so that Ted Turner could finance CNN, and changed its call letters to WPCQ standing for "People the Carolinas the Queen City. From 1980 to 1985, WPCQ used the distinctive Group W typeface.
WCNC joined Gannett in 2013 with that company's acquisition of Belo. WCNC revealed a new logo on July 31, 2014, as well as adopting Gannett's corporate graphics. The station reverted back to its call letters, but they are used alongside the name "NBC Charlotte".